Sharjah Blood Transfusion and Research Center

UAE Awards

Hamdan Award for an Outstanding Clinical Department in the Public Sector in UAE
2005-2006
The Sharjah Blood Transfusion Center has achieved a strong reputation in the region, thanks to the model clinical services it offers which granted it international recognition. The center targets all age categories from newborn babies to old people. The only center of its kind in the UAE at the time of its inception, it has established and maintained a very high standard in meeting the country's needs with regard to blood collection, testing, and transfusion to patients who need blood or its components.
The Center maintains a cooperative relationship with similar establishments in the country and in the Gulf region, such as its cooperation with local blood banks in the field of medical equipment and early diagnosis of AIDS.
 
Its good reputation enhanced through the years, during which time there was a remarkable rise in awareness of the importance of safe and well-tested blood components used in blood or blood component transfusion. Many of the pediatric, general medicine, gynecology and surgery departments depend heavily on transfusion of blood and blood components, whether in emergency cases or for the purpose of treating blood disorders. These services have saved countless lives in all age categories.
 
The Department of Blood Transfusion Services in the UAE commenced its activities in 1986 with a small blood bank project that was established in Abu Dhabi, and a smaller one in the emirate of Sharjah, together with other units in hospitals interested in blood transfusion.
 
Within a few years, the Sharjah Blood Transfusion Center became one of the biggest such centers developing into a reference resource for the region. In addition, there are 13 other  blood banks all over the UAE, and all fourteen centers function under the same laws and systems and are accredited internationally.
 
In 1987, the Sharjah Center introduced the voluntary, free-of-charge program for blood donation in the UAE. The program involved a public and institutional campaign on blood donation using mobile vehicles especially designed for that purpose.
 
Since 1984, blood imports no longer became necessary in the UAE, which has become self-sufficient in safe blood. The number of blood donors is steadily rising. Moreover, the availability of local donors has significantly reduced the spread of infectious diseases through blood transfusion.
 
In    2004, 36,498 blood units were collected, of which 7,072 were collected through a campaign by the Sharjah Center involving 195 mobile vehicles. By comparison, 1,200 units were collected in 1995 through a campaign involving 30 vehicles only, while in 2000, 3,158 units were collected through a campaign involving 84 vehicles. The majority of donors in 2004 were Emarati citizens (8956 donors). The second largest category of donors was people of Indian origin    (6,118 donors). Thalassemia patients received 4,429 blood units between 2002 and 2004.
 
In 1996, Dr. Amin AI-Amiri proposed the development of a plan for the establishment of the GCC Blood Transfusion Board. Since its inception, the Board has been working on compiling unified criteria for the establishment of laws and systems of blood transfusion services in GCC member states, an endeavor that has eventually led to international recognition of these services. In 2001, Dr. AI-Amiri was able to establish the Arab Blood Transfusion Board whose mission was to further enhance safety measures in blood transfusion in the Arab countries. Since then, the Board has been playing a pioneering role in supporting Arab countries with limited resources, such as Palestine and Iraq in times of crisis.
 
In 2000, the Department of Blood Transfusion Services became the first of its kind in the region to be granted ISO-9002 from BSIUK, and ever since it has maintained this status year after year. Quality services have greatly improved safety criteria in blood transfusion technologies.
 
Moreover, the Department has contributed to plans of the World Health Organization (WHO) for quality assessment in the science of immunology. 
A report by the American Blood Banks Organization, seeded the UAE among the top ten countries using the white blood cell extraction technology at a rate of 100 % within the context of the services offered by its blood banks.
 
In 2005, the Center succeeded in placing the UAE in the register of the World Bone Marrow Donors Organization, thus becoming the first Arab country to achieve such an accomplishment. This would provide greater opportunities for patients requiring bone marrow transplant to find donors in the region.
 
The Center is beneficial to the entire region by virtue of its extensive endeavors in research and education. It has organized international medical conferences in the UAE on pathology, hematology and blood transfusion medicine. All such conferences have been organized in close coordination with the Ministry of Health, the World Health Organization (WHO),
 
Royal Colleges of Pathology, the GCC Blood Transfusion Board, and the Arab Blood Transfusion Board. Six international conferences have been organized so far.
 
The Sharjah Blood Transfusion Center is a winner of 22 merit certificates from 1991 to date. 
It has also been highly appreciated by HE the President of Tunisia during a meeting by the Arab Blood Transfusion Board, the Sharjah Volunteers Society, HH the Ruler of Ajman (during a function at the Om Al-Moe'mneen Society), the Qatari Blood Transfusion Organization, King Abdulaziz University, HE the Palestinian Minister of Health, and the GCC Executive Cabinet.
 
For all these accomplishments, the Sharjah Blood Transfusion Center deserves the Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Award for the best medical department in the government sector in the UAE.
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